Soil health and gut health – the hidden links with Jane Gleeson

Ref: S1D33092

Location: West Dean
Book now

Places available

About this course

This course will look at the emerging research on gut health and overall health, and how the health of the soil in which we grow our food is linked to this. We will draw on the parallels between the two and discuss the implications for health care and food growing.

Course Description

There is increasing research to show that our gut health is dependent on having the right balance of microbes in our gut, and how this is linked to what we eat. This course will look at the importance of how what we eat is profoundly affected by the health of the soil and its microbial life.

The tutor will discuss the way our gut microbes affect our health and what practical steps we can take to boost the health of our gut microbial life; and also delve into how food growing impacts the health of the soil microbial life and how this has knock-on effects to our gut and overall health.

The course will be mostly theoretical and will also include a session on how to assess the health of your soil – this will be outside and so outdoor clothing is required.


Timetable for one day courses

Students should arrive by 9am for registration.

Classes are from 9.15 - 5pm

Lunch is included.

Course Materials


  • The tutor will bring a spade for a soil testing exercise and a small piece of the student plot will be dug to look at the structure of the soil.

What students need to bring

  • Outdoor clothing – including wet weather gear, boots
  • Pens/pencils and paper for note-taking

Additional information

Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear (no sandals or open toes).


Jane Gleeson

Jane is a tutor with 25 years of experience in gardening. She trained at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew and was Head Gardener at Schumacher College.

Courses of interest

Creating a drought tolerant garden

4 Jul 2024 | West Dean
Places available
Tutor: Tom Brown |

An introduction to propagation

31 Aug 2024 | West Dean
Places available
Tutor: Benjamin Pope |
Suitable for all

Designing your own garden

25 to 28 Aug 2024 | West Dean
Places available
Tutor: Annie Guilfoyle |
Suitable for all

Summer garden photography

30 Aug 2024 to 1 Sep 2024 | West Dean
Places available
Tutor: Kevin Dutton |